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United Bank recovers Rs 2,500 crore bad loans in Quarter 4

Saturday, 5 April 2014 - 9:20am IST | Place: Kolkata | Agency: dna

Gross non-performing assets may shrink to Rs 6,000 cr for the last fiscal; bank may report profit in fourth quarter

United Bank of India (UBoI) is likely to peg its gross non performing assets (NPAs) close to Rs 6,000 crore for fiscal year ended March 2014, officials familiar with the bank's recovery programme told dna.

The bank has succeeded in recovering around Rs 2,500 crore of bad loans after a sustained efforts made during the fourth quarter, bank officials said.

This will bring down the gross NPA level from Rs 8,545 crore as on December 2013 to around Rs 6,000 crore said a senior bank official, who did not wish to be named.

"While there have been a few new slippages, the bank has been extra cautious in nipping the bud," he said.

The figures are tentative as the finalisation of NPAs were still in the process.

The crisis at the Kolkata headquarted bank was triggered by what Reserve Bank of India's outgoing deputy governor, K C Chakrabarty, recently said an 'SOS' sent to the regulator by its now retired chairperson and managing director, Archana Bhargava.

She had apparently reported to the regulator that the bank had not disclosed the NPAs in its books of accounts.

Subsequently, the bank disclosed huge NPAs which at gross level went up by about three times by the December quarter from just Rs 2,902 crore a year ago. It's capital adequacy ratio deteriorated to 9% from 10.2%.

Spiralling of bad debts was officially attributed to glitches in its NPA identification system, which, the director claimed has more or less been rectified.

Bhargava then opted for voluntary retirement in February within a fortnight of third quarter financials being declared. The bank has not yet replaced the top seat which has been lying vacant ever since her retirement. Currently, the bank has two executive directors managing the day-to-day operations of the bank with direct reporting to the finance ministry, especially on the recovery efforts.

"In all likelihood, the bank is set to post a positive bottomline in the fourth quarter," the official said.

Spiralling NPA levels and deterioration in capital adequacy had impacted its bottomline, which first turned negative in the September quarter at Rs 489 crore and then expanded to Rs 1238 crore in the December quarter.

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